Influenced early on by Deconstructivism, CJ Lim invents “narratives of space.” His cinematic projects blend movement, instability and decomposition of forms into sequences without beginning or end. The architect challenges the techniques usually employed for representing the project through a skillful use of a variety of media: painting, digital printouts, photography, photomontage, texts, etc. The hybrid techniques he has developed render indistinguishable what is done by hand and what results from digital processes. Likewise, his designs convey the status of “artifact,” which sometimes gives them the appearance of representations of models. One of his earliest projects, the Guest House (1995), already attests to his “narrative architecture.” Here, he transmutes the topography into evolving architecture. The same kinetic process of transformation is at work in his proposal for the competition for the Nam June Paik Museum, in South Korea (2003) and again in his Country House project (2000). CJ Lim’s monographic exhibition at the FRAC Centre in 2006 displayed his Virtually Venice project for the English Pavilion of the 2004 Venice Biennale of Architecture. The story of Alice in Wonderland provided the inspiration for the installation entitled Seasons Through the Looking Glass, which was commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2008. CJ Lim is also the author of many books. In Realms of Impossibility (2002), he tells the same story three times but each time in a different context (air, earth and water). In Smartcities and Eco-warriors (2010), he proposes a solution for problems of urban sprawl through a symbiotic relationship he establishes between nature, society and form.
Arriving in England in 1981, CJ Lim (b. Ipoh, Malaysia, 1964) continued his education there. He earned degrees from the Architectural Association and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and began his career as an assistant to Zaha Hadid, Eva Jiricna, Peter Cook and Christine Hawley, after which he founded his own firm, Studio 8 Architects, with Matthew Wells, in London in 1994. He combines prospective architecture, theoretical work and, since 1989, teaching in numerous schools of architecture, including the Architectural Association in London and the University of London East and North. Since 1993, he has headed the Bartlett Architecture Research Lab at the Bartlett School in London and regularly intervenes as a critic, professor and lecturer around the globe. He has won many prizes and in 1997, became the first recipient of the RIBA Award for Academic Contribution in Architectural Education.